As the border gradually opens, the night markets in Taipei City are preparing to welcome international visitors. To monitor the food hygiene of night markets, since 2018, the Taipei City Government has been issuing its new Food Safety Smile Certification for Night Markets. Since then, 12 night markets have been inspected and certified. This year (2022), the Food Safety Smile Certification for Night Markets was issued to the Jingmei Night Market and Raohe Street Tourist Night Market. A total of 157 food vendors passed inspection and earned the certification. They were presented with Gold and Silver Awards of the Food Safety Smile Certificate Certification. With this, the Taipei City Government has reached its 5-year goal of promoting food safety in 14 Tourist night markets. Commissioner of the Department of Health, Taipei City Government, Shier-Chieg Huang presented the certifications and 14 gratitude certificates to the self-government committees of the night markets in person to thank them on behalf of the public for monitoring food safety. During the ceremony, the Department of Health also released a video showcasing their accomplishments, showing people how night markets have transformed, and welcoming people to visit and enjoy the good food with a smile and peace of mind.
Commissioner Shier-Chieg Huang expressed that in response to the chapter “Eating Out Safely” of the Taipei City Administration White Paper, Taipei City Government has promoted the Food Safety Smile Certification since 2018. It mainly aims to promote the self-management of the food vendors concerning food ingredient choice, cooking, and cleanliness. Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market, Shilin Night Market, Ningxia Road Night Market, Liaoning Street Night Market, South Airport Night Market, Shuangcheng Street Night Market, Dalong Street Night Market, Yanping N. Rd. Sec. 3 Tourist Night Market, Wuzhou Street Tourist Night Market, Guangzhou Street Tourist Night Market, Xichang Street Tourist Night Market, and Linjiang Street Night Market had already been certified. This year (2022), the Food Safety Smile Certification was presented to Jingmei Night Market and Raohe Street Tourist Night Market. With counseling on food hygiene by onsite experts, the food vendors expressed their support and took the initiative in improving their food and management. As a result, 150 food vendors passed inspection and earned the gold award, and 7 vendors won the silver award in the Food Safety Smile Certification, for a total passing rate of 98%. The Department of Health has now completed the certification and counseling of the food vendors in 14 night markets, aiming to help vendors serve the safest and tastiest dishes to visitors.
The Department of Health, Taipei City Government explained that to promote the hygiene and safety of food served in night markets, they designed an evaluation specially for night markets, separate from that of larger food and drink businesses. Its 4 main perspectives were hygiene of personnel, hygiene of catering environment, food traceability, and vector control. Before the evaluation, lectures were held, and experts were counseled the vendors individually, helping them to better understand food safety. Once they have passed the evaluation, they will be presented with either the gold or silver awards. The Taipei City Government also expressed their thanks to self-government committee and the vendors for their support. The vendors that won awards can display the Food Safety Smile Certification in a prominent place for customers to see. To achieve the goal of traceability, the food vendors have registered in both Food Vendor Registration (Fadenbook) and food ingredients registration. When eating at the night markets, people do not have to worry about where the food of the night market comes from – all they need to do is scan the QR Code on the Smile Certification, which links to the Taipei City Food Tracer platform to trace the origin of the vendors’ food, providing a greater guarantee of night market food safety.
The Department of Health, Taipei City Government further explained that the Food Safety Smile Certification is valid for 2 years. In the future, it will continue to follow-up and advise night markets that have passed the certification, ensuring those food vendors continue to manage food safety issues themselves, providing a way for the Department of Health to monitor food safety for the public.